Our Bodies Our Creativity

  Tattoos can be a reflection of one’s individuality and creativity. They can be a representation of past experiences, such as remembering loved ones or pets who have passed away. Whether they have a nerdy backstory or a heartbreaking one, these stories can be revealed by a simple conversation about the significance of their tattoos.


  Senior Martina Medina got her first tattoo in her home country Argentina at 15 years old. After experiencing many life challenges, she decided to close that era of her life with a few tattoos. First, Medina got a dragon tattoo on each arm. On her right arm, she has a gray dragon representing the good parts of her character; on her left, she has a black dragon meaning the opposite. People often mistake dragons for Yin and Yang. She has another tattoo of a pelican. “The pelican is believed to pierce its skin to feed its babies if when there is a need. So to me, this represents my mother’s role in my and my siblings’ lives, and the cherry blossoms surrounding it represent our family protecting our mother.” Martina has eight tattoos.


To honor the loss of her boyfriend, who tragically passed in a car accident, senior Bryana Gamble got a tattoo on her forearm. After dating for almost two years, moving forward without him has been a struggle. Luckily, she has made several friends along the way to help her heal. “My favorite part is that the words are in his handwriting. It’s like having a piece of him,” Gamble said.


As a symbol of their relationship, Mrs. Erin Michener and her sister got matching flower tattoos. English teacher Michener has a rose tattooed on her bicep because her sister’s middle name is Rose. “I love the placement of my tattoo; every time I see it, I smile,” Michener said. Her sister’s tattoo differs from her because it is a poppy flower, which represents their home state, California. Written on both flower stems is the word “sisters.” The flower tattoos are reminders they are sisters forever.


Feeling trapped in his body, junior Canyon Colbert looked for an escape. Like a butterfly, he broke out of his cocoon, spread his wings and changed how he viewed himself. He wanted a way to express his change so he decided to put them in ink. “At that time, I felt trapped in my body and wanted to get better and be free. I chose the butterfly because butterflies always change and grow,” Colbert said.


“After my stepmom passed away, a butterfly kept showing up in the most random places. I felt like my stepmom was watching me from heaven,” head principal secretary Mrs. Carrie Vaughn said. Her tattoo art is personal and marks important life events. “For my family, I have a stardust Lilies tattoo with a ribbon with a quote saying, ‘from this day forward,’ along with my wedding date and my husband’s and my three children’s initials.” After facing the battle with breast cancer, Vaughan marked the life-changing event with a cross tattoo with the words Survivor written across it, pictured on the right. “It felt like a piece of closure after treatments and it’s like a shield of armor for me.”


Seniors Braydon Wilmot and Beckham Hulsizer have been in special education courses for years and have wanted to transition out. Both students wanted to transfer into medical courses and regular classes. So for Hulsizer’s 18th birthday, the two boys got matching tattoos of a moth sitting on fern leaves. “My favorite part about my tattoo is the moth and its meaning. I wanted it to show how we moved out of some special ed courses,” Wilmot said.